10 December 2012

Ghana: Uneasy Calm As Results Delay

An uneasy calm had enveloped the whole nation as The Chronicle went to press last night, following the delay in releasing the official results of the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Yesterday, the Acting Director of Public Affairs of the Electoral Commission, Mr. Christian Owusu-Pare, told the nation that following the extension of voting in some constituencies from Friday to Saturday, it might not be possible for the commission to release the results within 48 hours, as previously promised.

Consequently, official results for the presidential elections especially, might be released today, according to Mr. Owusu-Pare.

The announcement has doused the likely celebration by members, supporters and sympathisers of the National Democratic Congress, which leadership believes that its candidate, President John Dramani Mahama has won the presidential vote.

At a press conference in Accra, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, General Secretary of the party and its Campaign Director, asked the party's followers to remain calm as the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, prepared to undertake its mandate of declaring the official results.

Throughout the country, people are in an expectant mood. They were waiting for the official results to be declared before jubilating or mourning the plight of their political party.

At the time of going to press, projections indicate that 269 out of the 275 constituencies have had their results declared. President John Dramani Mahama, the candidate of the NDC, was in the lead by 50.66 percent to 47.76 percent by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, leader of the New Patriotic Party, according to figures on myjoyonline.

The candidates of the other parties and the independent candidate combined, managed between them a paltry 1.60 percent of the popular vote.

The NDC were also said to be in the lead in the parliamentary elections, as we went to press. The NDC had claimed 126 seats to the NPP's 109. The People's National Congress of Mr. Hassan Ayariga had one seat, while independent candidates won three seats, according to myjoyonline.

The results were disputed by the NPP, which claimed the figures had been manipulated by collusion between agents of the ruling NDC and EC officials at the various collation centres.

Following the press conference, a number of supporters of the NPP breached the security cordon at the Electoral Commission and threatened to invade the offices. They were confronted by a well-armed police force, which managed to restrain them.

As the police remonstrated with the irate fans, officials of the two main political parties arrived for a closed door meeting with the EC, over the NPP's concerns.

The Chronicle learned from deep throat sources that state officials had instructed the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, to declare the results yesterday, but the directive had been rebuffed. Rathe,r the commission decided to meet officials of the party before deciding on the next line of action.

Officials of the Electoral Commission and members of the National Peace Council were locked up in a closed door meeting with the leadership of the NPP and the NDC, in a bid to defuse tension as we went to press.

The Chronicle learned that Mr. Obestebi-Lamptey stormed the meeting with copies of the cooked results to back the party's demand for a recount of the votes in areas said to have registered cooked results

Earlier, supporters of the NDC throughout the country prepared to celebrate what they thought was a famous One-Touch victory. They had threatened to let their hair down, but the decision by the Electoral Commission to postpone the declaration of the result had led to an uneasy calm throughout the country.

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